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Nov 29

That’s the way Terry Glavin likes to put it. From an article of his in the Ottawa Citizen:

For victims of the Iranian regime, it’s a long quest for justice

For victims of the Iranian regime, it’s a long quest for justice

…while the diplomatic rituals were being re-enacted at the UN on Tuesday [Nov. 27], 48-year-old Shokoufeh Sakhi, studying for her PhD in political science at York University, was imagining how the nightmare might finally end. Sakhi is one of thousands of the regime’s survivors scattered throughout the Iranian diaspora who have struck on an idea: an end has to have a beginning.

This is the thinking behind the Iran Tribunal, a kind of people’s court run by jurists and international law specialists. The tribunal released its interim findings last month at the International Law Academy at The Hague. For five years, the tribunal initiative has been informally assembling a case for the prosecution of top Iranian officials on charges of crimes against humanity. Relying on the assembled evidence of more than 70 witnesses so far, the tribunal is zeroing in on a very specific Khomeinist atrocity.

During the counter-revolutionary terror of the 1980s, Ayatollah Khomeini’s increasingly deranged regime rounded up and murdered at least 20,000 Iranians — mostly leftists, liberals, the secularist vanguard of the 1979 revolution, Kurds, Baha’i leaders, Ahwazi Arabs and so on. The tribunal’s focus is on a very specific three-month period, in the summer of 1988, when roughly 5,000 of Iran’s political prisoners were systematically exterminated.

These were the days of the Death Commissions…

[Kaveh] Shahrooz [a 32-year-old Toronto lawyer who serves in the role of prosecutor to the Iran Tribunal] says he’s thankful that Canada is taking a forceful stance against Tehran at the UN, but it’s high time that Canada showed greater leadership by working with other UN member states to marshal the Iran Tribunal’s evidence to begin formal proceedings against the Iranian regime’s officials. And this week, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, whose department already gives priority to Iranian gay refugees, Baha’is, journalists, Christians and dissidents, is holding out some hope that Canada may do just that.

“We support the effort at The Hague to bring Iranian officials complicit in serious crimes to account,” Kenney told me this week…

More from Minister Kenny at this Citizen blog post by Mr Glavin:

“Crimes of Silence”

Mark Collins is a prolific Ottawa blogger

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